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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sanskriti Durga Puja, 2012

Experimenting with fonts. The Autumn Goddess

I got acquainted with in Feb 2012 while attending Natya Mela in Pleasanton, CA. One of the organizers, RB, had a good chat with us before the play 'Tiktiki' (by Re-Act, Durgabari-Houston) began and I offered to volunteer if they needed any help for their events. I was away in Portland during their Indian Classical Music and Dance Festival in July, but did what I could to promote it in the social media. I was told the event was a success and the event tickets were sold out. That made me very happy.

Soon, it was that time of the year that makes every Bengali miss home- Sharadiya (Autumnal, in the months of Sept -Oct) Durga Puja .Each year Goddess Durga descends on Earth from her heavenly abode to visit her father. It is a time of going home, visiting your folks. It is nostalgia in the most excruciating form for what you have left behind. At least, I used to feel very homesick around that time of the year, though I have learned to call someplace else as my ‘home’ now. 

Friday, October 05, 2012

Dear Vonage

Dear Vonage,

I like your service. Even though you charge me a fixed rate of $25.99 (which actually amounts to $34.79) per month for your World Plan (Unlimited calls to 60 countries, but not to mobiles in all cases, as I found out in my recent calls to Italy), I don’t mind, because I talk to my parents in India every day. I have been doing so since I was 18 and had started living away from them. Never has it been so convenient or so cheap (if you don't count free video calls on Skype or other VoIP competitors which offer their service for a lot less, like magicJack. Some folks I know still use Reliance calling cards, but talk only once or twice a week. )

But your Telemarketing sucks. I suspect there is no quality monitoring of your calls and probably a third party is doing your marketing for you (My caller id showed: Westwood College, which is why I picked up the phone in the first place).

 The first rule of telemarketing is to ask if it is a good time to talk. Permission. Respect. Seth Godin has screamed himself hoarse over this. I was watching the Presidential debate on Wednesday and was considerably irritated by the 15 mins you wasted trying to convince what a valued customer I was. To top it, you spoke with a heavy Mandarin accent, parroting the same thing over and over and over. Do you think I am mentally challenged? At least you acknowledged, ’You are a very patient lady’.

I subscribe to your email offers, and I know all about the first free cell phone extension and a fee of $4.99 per month (plus taxes) for each additional extension. And then you handed the phone to another executive who was just repeating the offer details. To get you off my back, I furnished a number, availed of the offer, then went online and deleted the extension as soon as I got the confirmation mail. My advice: stick to testimonial ads on TV, and please don’t spoil the customer experience with noob marketers.

Thank you.

P.S. They called me again (10/11/2012) with the same offer and I asked them to put me on their  do-not call list for this offer.